Kingston General Hospital (KGH) is founded on a deep commitment to caring and of meeting community need with community support. In 1832, concerned prominent citizens (those for whom roads and buildings are still named today) met to consider the plight of sick and poor immigrants who were arriving to their port town daily. They agreed to fund a public charitable hospital and petitioned the government for support. It was through this lens of compassion and humanitarianism that the hospital, first named Kingston Hospital, was built in 1835.
Best laid plans. Kingston had a hospital building but lacked the funds to equip, furnish and operate it as a hospital. Instead, the building served famously as Canada’s first parliament from 1841 to 1844.
By 1845, sufficient funding had been secured to operate the hospital seasonally from May to September. It was managed by volunteers from the Female Benevolent Society and local doctors who offered their services free of charge. 1849 marked a turning point when the Kingston Hospital opened its doors full time, year round under new management.
It was in 1854, following the establishment of the School of Medicine and Queen’s University, that the Kingston Hospital formalized an affiliation with the medical school and became both a place of care and of education for health care professionals – a legacy that continues to this day.
A constant in the history of our KGH site is a spirit of generosity and philanthropy. Beginning with our founders, with assistance from numerous benefactors, our dedicated women volunteers, local churches with their annual ‘Hospital Sundays’ and successful fund-raising campaigns, KGH has been able to operate public wards for those unable to pay for their care, expand services offered, build new wings, and meet the health care needs of our community as we continue to do so today.
Kingston General Hospital is truly a hospital by and for the community.
Legacy KGH site mission and values
Mission statement: We are a community of people dedicated to transforming the experience of our patients and families through innovative and collaborative approaches to care, knowledge and leadership.
Values: Respect, Engagement. Accountability, Transparency, Value for money